Over the last couple of weeks I have done something I swore I would never, ever do again. Banned from rowing, I have crossed over to the dark side and been… gulp… running.
Oh. My. Goodness. I thought rowing was hard. I’ve always maintained that I’m not a runner and nothing I’ve encountered over the last month has dissuaded me from this idea. Still, needs must and it’s either running or lying on the sofa eating multi-packs of fun-sized Milky Ways. Even I can see the sense in forcing myself to pound the pavements.
But here’s the thing. Which is actually better for you? Rowing or running?
On a pure, calorie-burning front, running seems to be winning at the moment. According to the indoor machines (and I know these aren’t fully accurate), running burns off wondrously high numbers of calories – way more than my pathetic efforts on the erg ever did – and certainly I’ve managed to munch my way through obscene quantities of pasta, mince pies and cupcakes over the last little while without covering myself in a layer of lard.
I’m discovering some new muscles, too, especially since Son on the Run gave me a running tutorial and pointed out all of my faults. With my new, improved technique, my calves are screaming so much that I can barely walk.
Equally thrillingly, without the thrice-weekly body-thrashing that is my normal rowing routine, I now have silky-smooth skin. No blisters. No callouses. No track bites. And I’m pleased to report that I’m currently sporting a lovely set of unchipped, perfectly painted nails (in Chanel’s Rouge Noir, for those who care).
On the downside, unlike rowing, running does pretty much nothing for your upper body (which is good for healing a shoulder injury, but horrendous for the emerging bingo wings). It’s also worryingly high impact and, I suspect, will do my joints no favours in the long run. I also read somewhere – and this is fairly horrifying – that running eventually makes your face slide down towards your toes (along with everything else). I’m sure nothing like that ever happens in rowing.
So come on, let me know what you think. Rowing vs. running. Discuss.